The heroic rescue of a woman and a child from the waters of the Hopkins River after their boat sank in 1921 has been remembered on the 100th anniversary of the tragedy.
Ten people died that day on January 9 when they set off for Jubilee Park on a perfect summer's day, but just a mile up the river the Nestor began to take on water.
Les Tinker and his brother Ernie were meant to be on board, but they and their girlfriends were running late and missed it.
So they instead jumped in another boat and were rowing upstream when they noticed the Nestor was in trouble. The brothers took the women to shore and went out to help.
News reports from the time told of the chaos that followed this disaster as terrified passengers were hauled from the water by rescue boats. Some were resuscitated on the river bank, others, weighed down by their clothing, could not be saved. According to recorded family history, Les jumped in the river and went and helped a child and a woman to shore.
For his efforts, Les was awarded a medal by the Royal Humane Society - something Warrnambool's Marianne Tinker keeps in her possessions.
Engraved in the back are the words "in recognition of the gallant services rendered to the J. Russell Family".
It was handed down to her about three or four years ago by Les' only son. Les, who was one of 15 children, was her husband's uncle.
A medal was also awarded to his brother, Mrs Tinker said, and that was made into a broach for his wife. "But nobody has any idea what happened to it," she said.
Brothers Les and Ernie both went on to marry the two women, who were sisters, that they had briefly taken out on the water that day.
Les' father Francis was an assistant on board the Nestor the day the boat sunk.
Mrs Tinker spent the anniversary of the disaster joining the Warrnambool cemetery tour which visited the graves of six those buried there that had lost their lives that day.
Other cemetery tours will be held on January 13 and 26 at 2pm, and January 6 and 10 at 6pm.
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